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GSC OU (OverUsed) Raikou [Discussion Ready]

Discussion in 'Individual Analyses' started by magic9mushroom, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    Raikou[​IMG][​IMG]
    Type: Electric
    Stats: 90 | 85 | 75 | 115 | 100 | 115

    Introduction

    Raikou is the premier special tank of GSC OU, with high special bulk, no special weaknesses, blazing Speed only exceeded in the tier by Jolteon, and a powerful Electric STAB. Its Electric resistance makes it a particularly-effective counter to Zapdos and Gengar, while its Speed and offensive typing allow it to check Vaporeon, Tentacruel and Charizard.

    Raikou's biggest flaw is its weakness to Ground; Earthquake is a common move in the tier, and even non-STAB Earthquakes can 2HKO Raikou due to its mediocre physical bulk. This problem is compounded by Ground-types' immunity to Raikou's STAB, allowing opponents to potentially switch these Pokemon in for free. Still, Raikou is used on almost every stall team, as the only other truly-solid answer to Zapdos (besides other Electrics, which are mostly inferior versions of Raikou) is Blissey.

    Sets

    Roar

    Raikou @ Leftovers
    EVs: Spd 46226-47961 (319 Speed)
    - Thunderbolt / Thunder
    - Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Water
    - Roar
    - Rest

    Set Details: Adding Roar to Raikou expands its defensive capabilities, as it becomes able to effectively counter Mean Look Misdreavus, Gengar and Umbreon as well as Baton Pass Jolteon. Raikou is especially prized here for its Electric resistance; Gengar, Misdreavus and Jolteon all have powerful Electric moves that make it very awkward for Skarmory or Suicune to p-haze them.

    Roar also serves an offensive purpose, as it allows Raikou to rack up Spikes damage. Roar Raikou is one of the best Spikes-shufflers in GSC, as there are many common Pokemon that either cannot significantly punish it for Roaring, or which have to switch out fearing its Electric STAB; additionally, none of Raikou's counters are immune to Spikes.

    Thunderbolt's accuracy is typically preferred over Thunder's power and paralysis chance on this set, as Raikou already contributes offensively via Roar and it does not have RestTalk as a safety net to mitigate the consequences of a Thunder miss or stretch out Thunder's PP.

    Hidden Power Ice and Hidden Power Water provide some ability to damage Ground-types; while Raikou does already have Roar, they will get in eventually and the ability to turn the tables on a damaged Ground is very handy. HP Water provides better coverage of Steelix, Rhydon and Golem at the cost of covering Exeggutor; on its own, this would be an excellent trade as Exeggutor is much less dangerous to Raikou and still takes significant damage and a paralysis chance from Raikou's STAB. However, due to the way IVs work in GSC, Raikou gives up 16 hit points to get Hidden Power Water, which is a noticeable downgrade in bulk.

    The Speed EVs listed are to help with the Roar Raikou ditto; the slower Roar wins in GSC, which means a slower Roar Raikou will have the advantage over a faster one (Raikou has no real means of damaging itself). 319 Speed preserves a Speed advantage over Gengar, which can be relevant in case of Destiny Bond; however, if you do not fear Gengar, 299 Speed (to preserve a Speed advantage over Zapdos, Miltank, Charizard and Tentacruel) is another possibility.

    Sleep Talk

    Raikou @ Leftovers
    - Thunder / Thunderbolt
    - Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Water
    - Rest
    - Sleep Talk

    Set Details: With Sleep Talk, Raikou becomes able to safely absorb sleep from Exeggutor and is less vulnerable after absorbing sleep from Gengar (Raikou walls Gengar even without Sleep Talk, but is a sitting duck while asleep).

    Note that unlike Zapdos, which is 3HKOed by many Pokemon but avoids 2HKO from all but a handful, Raikou avoids 3HKO from most special attackers but is 2HKOed by almost every Earthquake in the tier (even Tyranitar's and sometimes Snorlax's). As such, Sleep Talk is not as crucial to Raikou's matchup list as it is to Zapdos'.

    As Raikou cannot Roar-shuffle with this set, Thunder's paralysis chance is a useful way for Raikou to contribute offensively. However, Thunderbolt is still an option for more defensively-minded players in order to deal with Vaporeon, Tentacruel and Charizard more reliably.

    Hidden Power is an absolute necessity on this set, as without Roar Ground-types would otherwise have a free switch. The choice between Ice and Water is much the same as for the Roar set.

    Other Options
    Hidden Power Grass can be used to target the rare Quagsire and Mirror Coat Suicune (Hidden Power is not affected by Mirror Coat in GSC), but it sacrifices a further 8 HP compared to Hidden Power Water, as well as the super-effective hit on (more common) Steelix and Nidoking.

    Crunch is Raikou's strongest attack against other Raikou, and can put Snorlax in an awkward position via lowering Special Defence, but it helps little against Ground-types.

    Reflect is an option on the Roar set over Hidden Power, as Raikou benefits greatly from Reflect and it already has Roar to Spikes-shuffle Ground-types. The main problem is that if an opponent has Rapid Spin Golem or Donphan, it is going to get in eventually and remove your Spikes - which for the kinds of teams running Roar Raikou is often a death sentence.

    Toxic is an option for dealing with Ground-types, as few run Rest, but is useless against Steelix and Nidoking and takes a while to work on the others.

    Psych Up can be used to steal stat boosts. However, Attack and Speed boosts are typically of little use to Raikou, as it does not run physical attacks and already outspeeds almost everything, while Growth Vaporeon is unlikely to stay in on Raikou unless it is in KO range (at which point Psych Up is useless). Growth Espeon and Jolteon are viable targets, but are extremely rare sights.

    Lastly, if for some reason you want to set up rain, Raikou is probably the best user of Rain Dance in the tier since it benefits from rain itself (via Thunder and possibly Hidden Power Water) and forces out opposing Waters and Thunder Zapdos (which could otherwise exploit your rain). However, rain is not especially useful in GSC.

    Checks and Counters
    The most obvious and common answer to Raikou is Snorlax, which can tank Raikou's STAB through sheer special bulk (Thunder is a 5HKO, and Thunderbolt a 6HKO) and 3HKO back with Return or Double-Edge or potentially 2HKO with Earthquake.

    However, unless Snorlax runs Sleep Talk it is not a completely invincible Raikou counter (especially when Spikes are down), and Snorlax mostly locked in a Rest loop is not very offensively useful, so it is common to also bring a Ground-type. This both at least checks Raikou, but more importantly forces Raikou to play guessing games regarding what's coming in (as Electric attacks have no effect on Grounds and Hidden Power has essentially no effect on Snorlax) and gives a chance of Raikou Roaring out one counter only to drag in another. Ground-types viable in OU include Steelix, Nidoking, Marowak, Golem, Rhydon and Quagsire. Steelix and Quagsire are especially effective due to their lack of weakness to Ice (and in Quagsire's case, Water).

    Other Pokemon that can defeat Raikou include Earthquake Tyranitar and RestTalk Heracross, although these Pokemon do not resist Electric and thus have less synergy with Snorlax.

    An option against Sleep Talk Raikou is to switch to your own Roar Raikou; while neither Raikou will be able to KO the other, a Roar Raikou can at least start a Roar chain.

    Lastly, Meganium and Blissey can wall Raikou. While this would ordinarily be of little use due to their inability to KO Raikou, they can set Light Screen to neuter it and permit a much safer switch into something threatening. Blissey can also use Raikou as Heal Bell bait.

    On the more offensive side of the coin, common anti-Raikou tactics include paralysing it with Starmie or Zapdos (a paralysed Raikou still defeats both these Pokemon, but is more vulnerable to Grounds and much less effective in some of its other defensive duties), as well as sleeping it or Exploding on it with Exeggutor or Gengar. Mirror Coat Suicune also gives Raikou no end of headaches (as using Raikou's STAB is suicide, Hidden Power does no damage after Leftovers, and Roar is blocked by Mirror Coat's reduced priority), although it only works if Suicune is at high health.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    Lojh likes this.
  2. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    I'm umming and ahhing about whether I should do Tyranitar. On one hand, I do know a thing or two more about it than the Smogon analysis. On the other, I don't like using Tyranitar; I think the mixed set is hilariously overrated and largely inferior to Nidoking (and, heck, Porygon2), I think the Pursuit/Roar set is largely (though not wholly) inferior to Umbreon, and I think the Curse set without Pursuit is largely inferior to Rhydon.

    On the third hand I totally have, I don't know if anyone is actually going to read it anyway.
     
  3. asbdsp

    asbdsp Member

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    Having multiple useful sets gives Tyranitar some extra viability that the others don't. I often find myself slotting in a Tyranitar on my team, because it can fill up what my team needs in more than one area, even if it's almost never one of my "star players".
     
  4. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    Sure, it has multiple sets, but you only get to bring one. :V

    Could you give an example of it filling lots of roles? I mean, it is a lot better than Umbreon at getting rid of Missy, but in terms of role compression I'd otherwise tend to say Umbreon's ahead due to blocking CurseRoarers.
     
  5. asbdsp

    asbdsp Member

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    Well you mentioned them. And your opp also doesn't get to know which set you're running until you reveal it. So for example comparing with Umbreon again, it's normal resist means it doesn't just auto lose to DrumLax, and can phaze it out once forcing it to reveal either EQ or Drum. Obviously that's not the best way to deal with DrumLax, but it does have these little "role compressions". Another example is just running dynamic punch on the curse set, to stay in and try to beat last mon EQ curselax, which is something that for example Rhydon won't tend to have much success with.

    It's definitely a mon with many "imperfect" answers, I will give you that. It tends to be one that you "respect" as more of a threat that your opponent is carrying, rather than one I'm always trying to use myself, if that makes any sense.
     
  6. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    999 EQ one-shots Tyranitar; if they Drum on the switch you can't safely p-haze. It does help somewhat against LK DrumLax, though (not a lot - particularly if you don't Rest - but somewhat).

    I'm not seeing how DynamicPunch is an advantage for Tyranitar over Rhydon; Rhydon learns DynamicPunch too and is physically bulkier than Tyranitar. That Rhydon rarely uses the gimmick because it has STAB EQ is an advantage for Rhydon, not Ttar (and STAB EQ is far from useless in that matchup).

    (Also, you can beat DrumLax with Umbreon, although I'll grant that Confuse Ray is unusual.)
     
  7. asbdsp

    asbdsp Member

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    Yeah, you're 100% right. I was thinking of the scenario where you switch in on a double-edge, but thinking back that's probably not the more common issue against DrumLax. And totally forgot Rhydon does have Dynamic Punch.
     

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